CHAPTER 549

Weapons and Explosives

549.01 Definitions.
549.02 Carrying concealed weapons.
549.03 Using weapons while intoxicated.
549.04 Improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle.
549.05 Failure to secure dangerous ordnance.
549.06 Unlawful transactions in weapons.
549.07 Underage purchase of firearm.
549.08 Discharging firearms.
549.09 Throwing or shooting missiles.
549.10 Possessing replica firearm in school.
549.99 Penalty.

CROSS REFERENCES

See sectional histories for similar State law
License or permit to possess dangerous ordnance - seevOhio R.C. 2923.18
Hunting prohibited - see GEN. OFF. 505.11
Reporting gunshot and stab wounds - see GEN. OFF. 525.05(b)
Property destruction by tear gas device, etc. - see GEN. OFF. 541.04


549.01 DEFINITIONS.
As used in this chapter:

(a) "Deadly weapon" means any instrument, device or thing capable of inflicting death, and designed or specially adapted for use as a weapon, or possessed, carried or used as a weapon.

(b) (1) "Firearm" means any deadly weapon capable of expelling or propelling one or more projectiles by the action of an explosive or combustible propellant. "Firearm" includes an unloaded firearm, and any firearm that is inoperable but that can readily be rendered operable.

(2) When determining whether a firearm is capable of expelling or propelling one or more projectiles by the action of an explosive or combustible propellant, the trier of fact may rely upon circumstantial evidence, including, but not limited to, the representations and actions of the individual exercising control over the firearm.

(c) "Handgun" means any firearm designed to be fired while being held in one hand.

(d) "Semi-automatic firearm" means any firearm designed or specially adapted to fire a single cartridge and automatically chamber a succeeding cartridge ready to fire, with a single function of the trigger.

(e) "Automatic firearm" means any firearm designed or specially adapted to fire a succession of cartridges with a single function of the trigger. "Automatic firearm" also means any semi-automatic firearm designed or specially adapted to fire more than thirty-one cartridges without reloading, other than a firearm chambering only .22 caliber short, long or long-rifle cartridges.

(f) "Sawed-off firearm" means a shotgun with a barrel less than eighteen inches long, or a rifle with a barrel less than sixteen inches long, or a shotgun or rifle less than twenty-six inches long overall.

(g) "Zip-gun" means any of the following:

(1) Any firearm of crude and extemporized manufacture;

(2) Any device, including without limitation a starter's pistol, that is not designed as a firearm, but that is specially adapted for use as a firearm;

(3) Any industrial tool, signalling device or safety device, that is not designed as a firearm, but that as designed is capable of use as such, when possessed, carried or used as a firearm.

(h) "Explosive device" means any device designed or specially adapted to cause physical harm to persons or property by means of an explosion, and consisting of an explosive substance or agency and a means to detonate it. "Explosive device" includes without limitation any bomb, any explosive demolition device, any blasting cap or detonator containing an explosive charge, and any pressure vessel that has been knowingly tampered with or arranged so as to explode.

(i) "Incendiary device" means any firebomb, and any device designed or specially adapted to cause physical harm to persons or property by means of fire, and consisting of an incendiary substance or agency and a means to ignite it.

(j) "Ballistic knife" means a knife with a detachable blade that is propelled by a spring-operated mechanism.

(k) "Dangerous ordnance" means any of the following, except as provided in subsection (l) hereof:

(1) Any automatic or sawed-off firearm, zip-gun or ballistic knife;

(2) Any explosive device or incendiary device;

(3) Nitroglycerin, nitrocellulose, nitrostarch, PETN, cyclonite, TNT, picric acid and other high explosives; amatol, tritonal, tetrytol, pentolite, pecretol, cyclotol and other high explosive compositions; plastic explosives; dynamite, blasting gelatin, gelatin dynamite, sensitized ammonium nitrate, liquid-oxygen blasting explosives, blasting powder and other blasting agents; and any other explosive substance having sufficient brisance or power to be particularly suitable for use as a military explosive, or for use in mining, quarrying, excavating or demolitions;

(4) Any firearm, rocket launcher, mortar, artillery piece, grenade, mine, bomb, torpedo or similar weapon, designed and manufactured for military purposes, and the ammunition for that weapon;

(5) Any firearm muffler or silencer;

(6) Any combination of parts that is intended by the owner for use in converting any firearm or other device into a dangerous ordnance.

(l) "Dangerous ordnance" does not include any of the following:

(1) Any firearm, including a military weapon and the ammunition for that weapon, and regardless of its actual age, that employs a percussion cap or other obsolete ignition system, or that is designed and safe for use only with black powder;

(2) Any pistol, rifle or shotgun, designed or suitable for sporting purposes, including a military weapon as issued or as modified, and the ammunition for that weapon unless the firearm is an automatic or sawed-off firearm;

(3) Any cannon or other artillery piece that, regardless of its actual age, is of a type in accepted use prior to 1887, has no mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic or other system for absorbing recoil and returning the tube into battery without displacing the carriage, and is designed and safe for use only with black powder;

(4) Black powder, priming quills and percussion caps possessed and lawfully used to fire a cannon of a type defined in subsection (l)(3) hereof during displays, celebrations, organized matches or shoots, and target practice, and smokeless and black powder, primers and percussion caps possessed and lawfully used as a propellant or ignition device in small-arms or small-arms ammunition;

(5) Dangerous ordnance that is inoperable or inert and cannot readily be rendered operable or activated, and that is kept as a trophy, souvenir, curio or museum piece.

(6) Any device that is expressly excepted from the definition of a destructive device pursuant to the "Gun Control Act of 1968," 82 Stat. 1213, 18 U.S.C.921(a)(4), as amended, and regulations issued under that Act.

(m) "Explosive" means any chemical compound, mixture, or device, the primary or common purpose of which is to function by explosion. "Explosive" includes all materials that have been classified as Class A, Class B, or Class C explosives by the United States Department of Transportation in its regulations and includes, but is not limited to, dynamite, black powder, pellet powders, initiating explosives, blasting caps, electric blasting caps, safety fuses, fuse igniters, squibs, cordeau detonant fuses, instantaneous fuses, and igniter cords and igniters. "Explosive" does not include "fireworks", as defined in Ohio R.C. 3743.01, or any explosive that is not subject to regulation under the rules of the Fire Marshal adopted pursuant to Ohio R.C. 3737.82. (ORC 2923.11)


549.02 CARRYING CONCEALED WEAPONS.

(a) No person shall knowingly carry or have, concealed on his or her person or concealed ready to hand, any deadly weapon.

(b) This section does not apply to officers, agents or employees of this or any other state or the United States, or to law enforcement officers, authorized to carry concealed weapons or dangerous ordnance, and acting within the scope of their duties.

(c) It is an affirmative defense to a charge under this section of carrying or having control of a weapon other than dangerous ordnance, that the actor was not otherwise prohibited by law from having the weapon, and that any of the following apply:

(1) The weapon was carried or kept ready at hand by the actor for defensive purposes, while the actor was engaged in or was going to or from the actor?s lawful business or occupation, which business or occupation was of such character or was necessarily carried on in such manner or at such time or place as to render the actor particularly susceptible to criminal attack, such as would justify a prudent person in going armed.

(2) The weapon was carried or kept ready at hand by the actor for defensive purposes, while the actor was engaged in a lawful activity, and had reasonable cause to fear a criminal attack upon the actor or a member of the actor?s family or upon the actor?s home, such as would justify a prudent person in going armed.

(3) The weapon was carried or kept ready at hand by the actor for any lawful purpose and while in the actor?s own home.

(4) The weapon was being transported in a motor vehicle for any lawful purpose, and was not on the actor's person, and, if the weapon was a firearm, was carried in compliance with the applicable requirements of Section 549.04(c).

(d) Whoever violates this section is guilty of carrying concealed weapons, a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of a violation of Ohio R.C. 2923.12 or of any offense of violence, or if the weapon involved is a firearm that is either loaded or for which the offender has ammunition ready at hand, or if the weapon involved is a dangerous ordnance, or if the weapon involved is a firearm and the violation is committed at premises for which a D permit has been issued under Ohio R.C. Chapter 4303, or if the offense is committed aboard an aircraft, or with purpose to carry a concealed weapon aboard an aircraft, regardless of the weapon involved, carrying concealed weapons is a felony and shall be prosecuted under appropriate State law. (ORC 2923.12)


549.03 USING WEAPONS WHILE INTOXICATED.

(a) No person, while under the influence of alcohol or any drug of abuse, shall carry or use any firearm or dangerous ordnance.

(b) Whoever violates this section is guilty of using weapons while intoxicated, a misdemeanor of the first degree. (ORC 2923.15)


549.04 IMPROPERLY HANDLING FIREARMS IN A MOTOR VEHICLE.

(a) No person shall knowingly discharge a firearm while in or on a motor vehicle.

(b) No person shall knowingly transport or have a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, in such manner that the firearm is accessible to the operator or any passenger without leaving the vehicle.

(c) No person shall knowingly transport or have a firearm in a motor vehicle, unless it is unloaded, and is carried in one of the following ways:

(1) In a closed package, box or case;

(2) In a compartment which can be reached only by leaving the vehicle;

(3) In plain sight and secured in a rack or holder made for the purpose;

(4) In plain sight with the action open or the weapon stripped, or, if the firearm is of a type on which the action will not stay open or which cannot easily be stripped, in plain sight.

(d) This section does not apply to officers, agents or employees of this or any other state or the United States, or to law enforcement officers, authorized to carry or have loaded or accessible firearms in motor vehicles, and acting within the scope of their duties.

(e) The affirmative defenses contained in Section 549.02(c)(1) and (2) are affirmative defenses to a charge under subsection (b) or (c) hereof.

(f) Whoever violates this section is guilty of improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle. Violation of subsection (a) or (b) hereof is a misdemeanor of the first degree. Violation of subsection (c) hereof is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

(g) As used in this section, "unloaded" means, with respect to a firearm employing a percussion cap, flintlock or other obsolete ignition system, when the weapon is uncapped, or when the priming charge is removed from the pan. (ORC 2923.16)


549.05 FAILURE TO SECURE DANGEROUS ORDNANCE.

(a) No person, in acquiring, possessing, carrying or using any dangerous ordnance shall negligently fail to take proper precautions:

(1) To secure the dangerous ordnance against theft, or against its acquisition or use by any unauthorized or incompetent person;

(2) To insure the safety of persons and property.

(b) Whoever violates this section is guilty of failure to secure dangerous ordnance, a misdemeanor of the second degree. (ORC 2923.19)


549.06 UNLAWFUL TRANSACTIONS IN WEAPONS.

(a) No person shall:

(1) Manufacture, possess for sale, sell or furnish to any person other than a law enforcement agency for authorized use in police work, any brass knuckles, cestus, billy, blackjack, sandbag, switchblade knife, springblade knife, gravity knife or similar weapon;

(2) When transferring any dangerous ordnance to another, negligently fail to require the transferee to exhibit such identification, license or permit showing him to be authorized to acquire dangerous ordnance pursuant to Ohio R.C. 2923.17, or negligently fail to take a complete record of the transaction and forthwith forward a copy of such record to the sheriff of the county or safety director or police chief of the municipality where the transaction takes place;

(3) Knowingly fail to report to law enforcement authorities forthwith the loss or theft of any firearm or dangerous ordnance in the person's possession or under the person?s control.

(b) Whoever violates this section is guilty of unlawful transactions in weapons. Violation of subsections (a)(1) or (2) hereof is a misdemeanor of the second degree. Violation of subsection (a)(3) hereof is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. (ORC 2923.20)


549.07 UNDERAGE PURCHASE OF FIREARM.

(a) No person under eighteen years of age shall purchase or attempt to purchase a firearm.

(b) No person under twenty-one years of age shall purchase or attempt to purchase a handgun, provided that this subsection does not apply to the purchase or attempted purchase of a handgun by a person eighteen years of age or older and under twenty-one years of age if the person eighteen years of age or older and under twenty-one years of age is a law enforcement officer who is properly appointed or employed as a law enforcement officer and has received firearms training approved by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Council or equivalent firearms training.

(c) Whoever violates subsection (a) hereof is guilty of underage purchase of a firearm, is a delinquent child and is subject to an order of disposition as provided in Ohio R.C. 2151.355. Whoever violates subsection (b) hereof is guilty of underage purchase of a handgun, a misdemeanor of the second degree. (ORC 2923.211)


549.08 DISCHARGING FIREARMS.

(a) No person shall discharge any air gun including pellet gun, rifle, shotgun, revolver, pistol or other firearm within the corporate limits of the Municipality.
(Ord. 729. Passed 6-6-74.)

(b) This section does not apply when firearms are used in self defense, in the discharge of official duty or when otherwise lawfully authorized.

(c) Whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.


549.09 THROWING OR SHOOTING MISSILES.

(a) No person shall throw, shoot or propel an arrow, missile, pellet, stone, metal or other similar substance capable of causing physical harm to persons or property, in or on any public place, in or on the property of another, or from any private property into or onto any public place or the property of another. This section does not apply to supervised archery ranges or instruction nor when otherwise lawfully authorized.

(b) Whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.


549.10 POSSESSING REPLICA FIREARM IN SCHOOL.

(a) No person shall knowingly possess an object on school premises, in a school or school building, at a school activity, or on a school bus if both of the following apply:

(1) The object is indistinguishable from a firearm, whether or not the object is capable of being fired.

(2) The person indicates that the person possesses the object and that it is a firearm, or the person knowingly displays or brandishes the object and indicates that it is a firearm.

(b) Subsection (a) hereof does not apply to premises upon which home schooling is conducted. Subsection (a) hereof also does not apply to a school administrator, teacher, or employee who possesses an object that is indistinguishable from a firearm for legitimate school purposes during the course of employment, a student who uses an object that is indistinguishable from a firearm under the direction of a school administrator, teacher, or employee, or any other person who with the express prior approval of a school administrator possesses an object that is indistinguishable from a firearm for a legitimate purpose, including the use of the object in a ceremonial activity, a play, reenactment, or other dramatic presentation, or a ROTC activity or another similar use of the object.

(c) Whoever violates subsection (a) hereof is guilty of illegal possession of an object indistinguishable from a firearm on school premises. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, illegal possession of an object indistinguishable from a firearm on school premises is a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of a violation of Ohio R.C. 2923.122, illegal possession of an object indistinguishable from a firearm on school premises is a felony and shall be prosecuted under appropriate State law.

(d) As used in this section:

(1) "School", "school building", and "school premises" have the same meanings as in Ohio R.C. 2925.01.

(2) "School activity" means any activity held under the auspices of a board of education of a city, local, county, exempted village, joint vocational, or cooperative education school district or the governing body of a school for which the state board of education prescribes minimum standards under Ohio R.C. 3301.07.

(3) "School bus" has the same meaning as in Ohio R.C. 4511.01.

(4) "Object that is indistinguishable from a firearm" means an object made, constructed, or altered so that, to a reasonable person without specialized training in firearms, the object appears to be a firearm. (ORC 2923.122)


549.99 PENALTY.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: See Section 501.99 for penalties applicable to any misdemeanor classification.)


Home Page Ordinance Index